How to Adjust a Spark Plug Gap on a 2000 Ford Focus SE

Written by john stevens
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How to Adjust a Spark Plug Gap on a 2000 Ford Focus SE
A proper spark plug gap helps the engine run at peak efficiency.. (old spark plugs image by Rog999 from

The most common mistake made when people install spark plugs is failure to check and adjust each spark plug's gap. The gap is the distance between the two metal contacts on the end of the spark plug that enter the engine's cylinder. An improperly adjusted gap will result in a reduction of power and fuel efficiency, which makes a correct gap vitally important. The 2000 Ford Focus SE is no exception to these principals.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Brush
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Feeler gauge
  • Spark plug gapping pliers
  • Anti-seize compound

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  1. 1

    Pull the spark plug wire off of the tip of the spark plug. Only remove one spark plug wire at a time to avoid confusing which wire goes to which spark plug.

  2. 2

    Clean the area immediately surrounding the spark plug with a brush to avoid any debris falling into the combustion chamber when the spark plug is removed.

  3. 3

    Remove the spark plug with a spark plug wrench.

  4. 4

    Measure the gap between the metal tip of the spark plug and the hook-shaped electrode with a feeler gauge. Note that the feeler gauge has either several blades of different thicknesses or wires of different thickness, depending on the design of the gauge. The correct distance is 1.3mm. Insert the correct size blade or wire into the tip of the spark plug and note whether any play exists between the plug's two points.

  5. 5

    Adjust the gap with spark plug gapping pliers. The spark plug slides into the two tips of the pliers. Opening the pliers will enlarge the gap, while closing the pliers will reduce the gap.

  6. 6

    Apply a light coat of anti-seize compound to the threads of the spark plug with the brush included with the compound, then tighten the spark plug into the cylinder head with the spark plug wrench and press the spark plug wire onto the plug.

  7. 7

    Repeat the above steps for the remaining spark plugs.

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